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My Garden Diary

May and June 2017

Copyright © 2017 by David E. Ross

Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.

Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.

Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?


January-February 2013
March-April 2013
May-June 2013
July-August 2013
September-October 2013
November-December 2013
January-February 2014
March-April 2014
May-June 2014
July-August 2014
September-October 2014
November-December 2014
January-February 2015
March-April 2015
May-June 2015
July-August 2015
September-October 2015
November-December 2015
January-February 2016
March-April 2016
May-June 2016
July-August 2016
September-October 2016
November-December 2016
January-February 2017
March-April 2017

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012

Entries below are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.

When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.

Dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given. Dates without years, however, may refer to entries on prior pages for the same year.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
10 Jun

Overcast, grey, and mild

Temp: 54-69
Humidity: 65%
Wind: 1-12

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 15

June gloom is definitely upon us. Indeed, much of May was also affected.

Put up cuttings of lavender (5 Jun) and Artemisia (5 May).

Lightly headed some of the holly in front, in order to make them grow more bushy (5 Jun).

Severely pruned the loquat tree, something I started earlier this past week. I wanted to open up the interior to allow more light and better air circulation. I also wanted to eliminate branches that extended far over the adjacent paths and branches that would require a ladder next year if I wanted to pick the fruit.

Progressed in trimming the edges of the paths, this time the edge of the back lawn across from the circular bed. This also involved removing grass interfering with the society garlic (Tulbaghia violacea).

5 Jun

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 55-86
Humidity: 40%
Wind: 0-12

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 10

Fed the dwarf Burford holly (Ilex cornuta 'Burfordii Nana') in front with ammonium sulfate (27-0-0). The shrubs — under the living room window — never really recovered from the impact of having my house painted a year ago.

Climbed My Hill to finish tying the 'Perlette' grape vine to its support wire and removing some new shoots (22 May).

Fed the camellias and azaleas in back with a commercial camellia and azalea fertilizer (a mild 10-5-4).

The newly planted rooted lavender cutting (31 May) did not survive. I will have to put up new cuttings. On the other hand, the rooted cutting I planted in back (5 May) is still growing.

2 Jun

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 55-87
Humidity: 39%
Wind: 1-11

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Days since last: 7

The rope holding the squirrel trap to The Tree gave way. I have not caught a squirrel in a very long time. Thus, I rebaited the trap an moved it to the slough wall at the bottom of My Hill. This time, I am using almonds, cashews, pistachios, and dried berries as bait.

Fed the dwarf citrus and gardenia with commercial citrus food plus a small amount of zinc sulfate. I also gave the Australian tea tree (Leptospermum laevigatum) some of the citrus food.

Fed the roses with ammonium sulfate.

Removed the compact discs and aluminum flashing from the loquat tree. They seemed to work in keeping squirrels and birds away because I did get more fruit for myself. However, much of the fruit was damaged in ways that resembled feeding by wasps. What I could retrieve of the damaged fruit I fed to Cleopatra.

Finished trimming the edges of the path along the rose bed. While doing this, I lightly trimmed a Camellia sasanqua 'Chansonett' and remove a new cane from the climbing 'Peace' rose, both of which extended over the path.

31 May

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 54-77
Humidity: 65%
Wind: 0-7

Planted a rooted lavender cutting in the brick panel in front, by the utility junctions. I put stakes around it and tied yellow "Caution" tape to the stakes since this is an area where people sometimes walk.

Made more progress trimming the edges of the path between the back lawn and the rose bed.

I give up! I just cannot get Cyclamens to survive in my greenhouse window.


Rain —
This season: 19.29
Week: 0.02

28 May

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 70-83
Humidity: 33%
Wind: 1-13

Rain —
This season: 19.29
Week: 0.02

Earlier in the week, a tree service removed the broken weed tree from My Hill (22 May). Fortunately, the bee swarm had already departed. The tree service cut down the entire tree, which they identified as some kind of Acacia. When the stump sprouts, I will apply an herbicide.

Finished pruning the fourth myrtle (19 May). The bush got revenge when I scraped a knuckle on a sharp branch end; it took quite a while for the bleeding to stop.

After pruning that myrtle, I was able to secure the tall riser on the shrub sprinkler head behind it. The riser had a significant lean to one side. I pounded some steel rebar into the ground and tied the riser to the rebar with a hose clamp.

Pruned a fourth lavender in the circular bed in back (12—May). The only remaining lavender in that bed is the rooted cutting I planted earlier this year (5 May).

Trimmed more the the edges of the path between the back lawn and the rose bed (12—May).

22 May

Clear, sunny, and hot
Humidity: 25%
Wind: 2-13

Rain —
This season: 19.27
Days since last: 15

Climbed My Hill to spray herbicide on weeds. Most of the weeds are seedling trees and sow thistle, but I also found a wild artichoke (Cynara scoymus) in the left corner of the very top of My Hill.

Rarely climbing My Hill for only one task, I also groomed two of the grape vines. I cut back some shoots and tied others to the supporting wires. I discovered, however, that I could only minimally groom the 'Perlette' vine as it had become the temporary (I hope) home of a bee swarm.

Also discovered that a weed tree on My Hill — a tree of unknown variety that I never planted — had broken in a wind storm (possibly around the end of April). Half of the tree is down, blocking one of the sprinklers on My Hill; but that half is still attached to the stump. I cannot move it, so I called a tree service to remove it and cut down the rest of the tree. After it is cut, I will spray herbicide on any new shoots.

While the bush anemone (Carpenteria californica) that I planted last year (14 Oct 16) seems to be thriving, the one I planted last month (14 Apr) might have died. I saw a little green, so I will wait to see if running the sprinklers on My Hill revive it. If it is dead, I will not replaced it until October, which is the prime planting month in southern California.

19 May

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 59-89
Humidity: 11%
Wind: 5-21

Cut back a major limb of the rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) at the end of the driveway in front. This was only the start of trimming that limb. I plan to cut it some more later this year or sometime next year. It has been growing out over the driveway and making the bush look unbalanced.

Started pruning a fourth myrtle (5 May).


Rain —
This season: 19.27
Days since last: 12

12 May

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 52-81
Winter chill: 318.0 hours
Humidity: 41%
Wind: 0-13

Rain —
This season: 19.27
Week: 0.12

Trimmed another overgrown lavender in the circular bed (5 May).

Trimmed the edges of the path that separates the back lawn from the rose bed, from the small side path to the steps leading onto My Hill to just past the potted dwarf kumquat Citrus margarita).

Fed the dwarf citrus and gardenia (a G.^nbsp;jasminoides 'Veitchii') with ammounium, iron, and zinc sulfates. I also gave the small potted plants in back — except the potted herbs — each a pinch of ammonium sulfate.

Pruned a fourth Artemisia. As I noted before (30 Apr), the two remaining were small rooted cuttings last year. Instead of pruning those two, I pinched out the ends of each shoot. I will take cuttings later, when the pruned plants have significant new shoots.

5 May

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 51-82
Humidity: 47%
Wind: 1-10

Rain —
This season: 19.15
Days since last: 27

Fed the roses with a commercial fertilizer that contains a systemic insecticide.

Planted a rooted cutting of 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender (Lavandula lanata × dentata, 17 Mar) in the circular bed in back, replacing a thrift (also called sea pink, Armeria meritima) that Cleopatra ate down to bare dirt. Only one thrift remains, and I think it too is doomed.

Finished pruning the third dwarf myrtle (Myrtus communis 'Compacta', 30 Apr).

Trimmed another 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender in the circular bed. This one was extending more than a foot over the adjacent small brick patio and was blocking a sprinkler.

Made more progress trimming the edge of the back lawn (30 Apr). Now both edges of the path between the lawn and west bed have been trimmed.

Trimmed another Artemisia 'Powis Castle' (A. arborescens × absinthium?). This one was so woody that I think it might need to be replaced with a rooted cutting. Unforturnately, I have not put up any cuttings yet.

Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.

The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.

Winter chill is the cumulative hours of temperatures at or below 45°F from 1 November through 31 March. It is reported during that period and through April.

The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)

Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.

Rain is in inches. Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year (our "rain-year"). Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no measurable rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.

Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also My Climate.
March-April 2017
January-February 2017
November-December 2016
September-October 2016
July-August 2016
May-June 2016
March-April 2016
January-February 2016
November-December 2015
September-October 2015
July-August 2015
May-June 2015
March-April 2015
January-February 2015
November-December 2014
September-October 2014
July-August 2014
May-June 2014
March-April 2014
January-February 2014
November-December 2013
September-October 2013
July-August 2013
May-June 2013
March-April 2013
January-February 2013

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012


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